The Big Bang Theory—Season 3

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Wil Wheaton, Amy Farrah Fowler introduced, Different twist on the typical romantic storyline

Standard sitcom set-up


Everyone is getting all girled up for The Big Bang Theory’s third season!

Back from their research in Antarctica, Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) find things heating up between them…but the difference between them could lead to problems.  Sheldon (Jim Parsons) finds himself facing his old nemesis…Star Trek:  The Next Generation’s Wil Wheaton.  Love in the air for Howard (Simon Helberg) when he meets a girl named Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) with a pushy mother of her own.  The biggest surprise could be when Howard and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) decide to set up Sheldon…and meet a woman named Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik).


Get your beard on!

The Big Bang Theory—Season 3 aired from September 21, 2009 to May 24, 2010 on CBS.  Jim Parsons won the Primetime Emmy for his portrayal of Dr. Sheldon Cooper and the show received nominations for Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series (“The Gothowitz Deviation”, “The Adhesive Duck Deficiency”), Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (Christine Baranski), Outstanding Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series or Special (“The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation”), and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a series (“The Adhesive Duck Deficiency”).


Battlestar Galactica never was like this!

The Big Bang Theory is a great show for nerds.  With scripts that generally show that the writers know what they are writing about, both with the technical stuff and the nerd stuff (you see a few errors).  The fun writing is met by a fun cast that is getting better.

The Big Bang Theory always has had a struggle of trying to determine what to do with Raj and Howard.  This season, they add Bernadette which finally gives Howard’s character direction, but Raj is still a struggle.  His limited talking storyline doesn’t have anywhere to go and stops the direction of the character.


Gollum! Gollum! Gollum!

This season really has some great additions.  Wil Wheaton is a great foil for Sheldon.  It is the geek dream of a Star Trek character that most of people in their thirties believed they could be and associate with…and he’s evil.  He only appears twice this season, but both appearances he’s a scene stealer (though he isn’t the strongest actor).  With Wheaton, you also get a short cameo of a character that’s importance grows in the next few seasons…Mayim Bialik returns to acting as Sheldon’s equally square potential girlfriend.  It’s just a cameo here, but it shows great things.

The Big Bang Theory probably has hit its stride here.  With the additions of Bernadette and the appearance of Mayim Bialik in the final episode of the season…plus Wil Wheaton, the show really has developed its cast and supporting cast.  The show is still a fun ride for the geek, dork, and nerd in everyone.

The Big Bang Theory—Season 3 Complete Episode Guide:


“The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation”

3.1       The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation Airdate:  09/21/09

Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), and Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) are back from the Arctic, and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is giving Leonard a warm reception.  When Sheldon learns that Leonard, Howard, and Raj faked results for his string theory research, Sheldon refuses to talk to Leonard, Raj, and Howard.  Sheldon quits and heads home, and Leonard is forced to go to Texas to talk to Sheldon at the request of his mother (Laurie Metcalf).


“The Jiminy Conjecture”

3.2       The Jiminy Conjecture Airdate:  09/28/09

Things have changed between Leonard and Penny after sleeping together and try to get past the weirdness.  Sheldon and Howard bet Flash #123 against Fantastic Four #48 that he can predict the species of a cricket…leading to a confrontation to a very angry entomologist (Lewis Black).


“The Gothowitz Deviation”

3.3       The Gothowitz Deviation Airdate:  10/05/09

Howard and Raj decide to go to a goth bar and try to pick up goth girls.  Sheldon discovers Leonard is spending more time with Penny and decides to try positive reinforcement with her.


“The Pirate Solution”

3.4       The Pirate Solution Airdate:  10/12/0

Raj faces deportation and tries to find another job to stay in the country.  Sheldon gets funding for a worker and considers hiring Raj.


“The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary”

3.5       The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary Airdate:  10/19/09

Howard calls Leonard out on his promise to hook him up with one of Penny’s girlfriends, and Penny introduces him to Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch).  A Mystic Warlords of Ka tournament is going on at the comic bookstore, and Sheldon decides he has to enter when he learns his nemesis Wil Wheaton is going to be there…seeks revenge for the past!


“The Cornhusker Vortex”

3.6       The Cornhusker Vortex Airdate:  11/02/09

Leonard decides to try to watch football with Penny’s friends and goes to Sheldon for help in learning the game.  Howard’s constant ditching of Raj for girls pushes Raj to the edge, and Raj declares their friendship is over.


“The Guitar Amplification”

3.7       The Guitarist Amplification Airdate:  11/09/09

Penny and Leonard fight over Penny’s decision to have a former boyfriend stay at her apartment.  With fighting all around him, Sheldon runs away to avoid the yelling.


“The Adhesive Duck Deficiency”

3.8       The Adhesive Duck Deficiency Airdate:  11/16/09

Leonard, Raj, and Howard go to the countryside to watch a meteor shower leaving Sheldon at home, but find themselves pushed to the edge by a drug experiment.  When Penny falls in the shower, Sheldon is forced to help get her to the hospital.


“The Vengeance Formulation”

3.9       The Vengeance Formulation Airdate:  11/23/09

Bernadette and Howard continue to date and Bernadette demands that Howard make a decision on the direction of their relationship…Howard turns to his fantasy girl Katee Sackhoff for help.  Sheldon’s NPR interview is sabotaged by Kripke (John Ross Bowie)…and Sheldon seeks revenge.


“The Gorilla Experiment”

3.10     The Gorilla Experiment Airdate:  12/07/09

Penny decides she wants to learn physics to impress Leonard and convinces Sheldon to teach him as part of an experiment.  Howard grows jealous of Bernadette’s interest in Leonard’s work.


“The Maternal Congruence”

3.11     The Maternal Congruence Airdate:  12/14/09

It is Christmastime, and Penny learns that Leonard’s mother (Christine Baranski) is coming…and wonders if Leonard is ashamed of her.  Leonard finds his mother is closer to Sheldon than him and learns that his parents are divorcing.


“The Psychic Vortex”

3.12     The Psychic Vortex Airdate:  01/11/10

Raj and Sheldon find themselves alone while Leonard and Howard are on dates and go to a mixer where they meet Abby (Danica McKellar) and Martha (Jen Drohan).  Leonard insults Penny’s belief in psychics and turns the situation cold for the date.


“The Bozeman Reaction”

3.13     The Bozeman Reaction Airdate:  01/18/10

Leonard and Sheldon have been robbed, and Sheldon finds he doesn’t want to be alone in the apartment…and decides he has to leave Pasadena.


“The Einstein Approximation”

3.14     The Einstein Approximation Airdate:  02/01/10

Lacking sleep and troubled by his hypothesis, Sheldon finds himself pushed to the edge…and Leonard and Penny must deal with him.  Sheldon decides to get a menial job to help his problem and goes for a job at The Cheesecake Factory.


“The Large Hadron Collision”

3.15     The Large Hadron Collision Airdate:  02/08/10

Leonard gets invited to see the super collider in Switzerland and plans to take Penny for Valentine’s Day…unfortunately, Sheldon calls a clause in the roommate agreement to force Leonard to take him.


“The Excelsior Acquisition”

3.16     The Excelsior Acquisition Airdate:  03/01/10

Stan Lee is coming to Stuart’s comic bookstore, but Sheldon finds himself summoned to court for taking Penny to the hospital.


“The Precious Fragmentation”

3.17     The Precious Fragmentation Airdate:  03/08/10

A garage sale find by Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard leads to the discovery of one of the original Lord of the Rings prop rings…leading to a battle of power between the friends to possess the “One Ring”.


“The Pants Alternative”

3.18     The Pants Alternative Airdate:  03/22/10

Sheldon is awarded a big honor by the university but has to give a speech to accept it.  Sheldon agrees to work with Penny, Raj, Howard, and Leonard (as his C-Men) to give his speech.


“The Wheaton Recurrence”

3.19     The Wheaton Recurrence Airdate:  04/12/10

Leonard expresses his love to Penny but doesn’t get the results he hopes.  As Leonard and Penny hit a rough patch, Sheldon faces off against his nemesis Wil Wheaton at the bowling alley…and Wheaton is up to his old games.


“The Spaghetti Catalyst”

3.20     The Spaghetti Catalyst Airdate:  05/03/10

Leonard and Penny have broken up, and Sheldon finds himself torn between Leonard and Penny.  Leonard and Penny work on sharing Sheldon.


“The Plimpton Stimulation”

3.21     The Plimpton Stimulation Airdate:  05/10/10

Physicist Elizabeth Plimpton (Judy Greer) is coming to visit the university, and Sheldon is hosting her at the apartment.  Elizabeth however has plans for Leonard, Raj, and Howard.


“The Staircase Implementation”

3.22     The Staircase Implementation Airdate:  05/17/10

When a fight breaks out over the thermostat, Leonard spends the night on Penny’s couch.  Leonard reveals to Penny how he first met Sheldon and became his roommate…and how the elevator broke as a result.


“The Lunar Excitation”

3.23     The Lunar Excitation Airdate:  05/24/10

Penny’s got a new boyfriend named Zack (Brian Smith) and realizes that Leonard has made her unable to have a dumb boyfriend.  When Penny has casual sex Raj and Howard decide to sign Sheldon up for internet dating, and Sheldon meets a woman named Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik).

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Related Links:

The Big Bang Theory—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Big Bang Theory—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Big Bang Theory—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Big Bang Theory—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Big Bang Theory—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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